Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

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Mkoll
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mkoll » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mkoll,
Mkoll wrote:Good point, retro. But, what defines "convincing a woman to have an abortion"? I mean, how explicit or implicit does it have to be to qualify for that?
If you want to investigate further, I would recommend downloading Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "Buddhist Monastic Code" parts 1 & 2 and doing a word-search on the term "abortion". There's extra clarification and commentarial source material in there.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Read it, don't see any clarification for my question beyond the obvious: "arranging for the operation, supplying the medicines, or advising a woman to get an abortion and she follows through—incurs a parajika." My question was whether Ven. Bodhi is doing that; I guess I should have made that even more explicit. And judging from his comments on the post santa linked, IMO he is not.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Phena
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Phena » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:34 am

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi's position on abortion. This also happens to mirror my view.
1) Although as a Buddhist I am personally opposed to abortion and would advise a woman who sought my counsel against obtaining one, I believe that the question of whether abortion should be legal is a political matter that should be left to the organs of government to determine. Those who oppose abortion on religious grounds should not be entitled to use government policy to impose the entailments of their beliefs on others.
Source

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JackOfHearts
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by JackOfHearts » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:54 am

Earlier it was argued that Bhikkhu Bodhi wasn't advocating women's right to an abortion because he said, "He [Trump] threatened to deny women their reproductive rights." I have not heard Trump or right wingers attack pap smears or breast exams, so please let's not kid ourselves.

If Bhikkhu Bodhi believes that the question of whether abortion should be legal is a political matter that should be left to the organs of government to determine, why then does he insert himself into this debate, especially when it is clearly counter to the basic teachings of the religion he represents?

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:01 am

Those who oppose abortion on religious grounds should not be entitled to use government policy to impose the entailments of their beliefs on others.
Well, isn't this the so called democracy?
If a democracy government ask people to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, can we stop it?
:shrug:
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retrofuturist
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:02 am

Greetings,

What if the opposition to abortion were not on religious grounds per se, but based simply on the right to not be murdered by another? Can laws to achieve the goals of non-murder be legitimately enacted without recourse to religion?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Phena
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Phena » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

What if the opposition to abortion were not on religious grounds per se, but based simply on the right to not be murdered by another? Can laws to achieve the goals of non-murder be legitimately enacted without recourse to religion?

Metta,
Paul. :)
If the majority want it. But we know how effective prohibition has historically been. Failure, generally. Will it stop women from having abortions? No. Will it make it more unsafe for women when they have abortions? Yes.

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Mr Man
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mr Man » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

What if the opposition to abortion were not on religious grounds per se, but based simply on the right to not be murdered by another? Can laws to achieve the goals of non-murder be legitimately enacted without recourse to religion?

Metta,
Paul. :)
Paul, Murder = unlawful killing.

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robertk
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by robertk » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:10 am

Mkoll wrote:? And what passages in the Canon, besides the one I know of about the gandhabba descending into the womb, detail what happens during conception and pregnancy?
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... t=abortion

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ihrjordan
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:33 am

The thing with laws is that they are -by there very design- meant to be broken. One who breaks a law is to be punished as authority sees fit but retribution nor justice play any part in buddhism.

Should we make it illegal to abort your child? I don't think so. Why? Because this necessarily entails persecution. And this is bad kamma for those enacting the punishment, thus adding to the problem.

But even if it were wholly legal does that mean anyone should do it? Again I don't think so.

We are all free to do what we want within samsara and there is no higher authority to force us into doing anything, but here and in a loft of other cases I think the old adage applies: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Can you do drugs, kill, lie, steal, and sleep with the wives of others? Sure, we are all masters of our present and future.

Should you? Well learned recluses and brahmins say no, and this is who I tend to follow as far as advice goes....

This thread really is a perfect example of the harm so called "engaged" buddhism does. Those who make the distinction between regular buddhism and "engaged" really fail to see where true goodness is cultivated.

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by paul » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:34 am

Bikkhu Bodhi’s social engagement is really an expression of the emergent western form of Buddhism in the US and elsewhere, which is incorporating new values as it evolves and which is different to traditional Asian Buddhism.
This expression is also seen in Ajahn Brahm’s advocacy of bikkhuni ordination globally.

Some of the differences are:
-socially informed and engaged
-meditation and experientially- based rather than devotional
-individual pursuit of enlightenment rather than relying on the monk-hood
-direct access to and interpretation of the Pali Canon
-gender equality

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:59 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Buddhist monks should speak about human rights, and do what they can to promote tolerance and understanding between different faiths. I made some comments in my latest update of The War on Error during the US Presidential Campaign. I update my book every year on the 11th of October. I don't see such efforts as engaging in politics — it is an attempt to counter extremist elements everywhere.
I agree. The Buddha gave copious advice on daily life to people from rulers on down.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=259
And see this discussion of Dasa Raja Dharma: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 27#p275288, qualities of a great ruler:
Almsgiving, justice, penitence, meek spirit, temper mild,
Peace, mercy, patience, charity, with morals undefiled—
https://suttacentral.net/en/ja534/-1
Though this particular list is from the Jataka's, these qualities appear in many earlier suttas.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by lyndon taylor » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:40 am

mikenz66 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Buddhist monks should speak about human rights, and do what they can to promote tolerance and understanding between different faiths. I made some comments in my latest update of The War on Error during the US Presidential Campaign. I update my book every year on the 11th of October. I don't see such efforts as engaging in politics — it is an attempt to counter extremist elements everywhere.
I agree. The Buddha gave copious advice on daily life to people from rulers on down.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=259
And see this discussion of Dasa Raja Dharma: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 27#p275288, qualities of a great ruler:
Almsgiving, justice, penitence, meek spirit, temper mild,
Peace, mercy, patience, charity, with morals undefiled—
https://suttacentral.net/en/ja534/-1
Though this particular list is from the Jataka's, these qualities appear in many earlier suttas.

:anjali:
Mike
By that wise criteria, Trump would qualify as a very bad ruler indeed!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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_anicca_
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by _anicca_ » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:34 am

Another opinion to let go of...
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by lyndon taylor » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:53 pm

Sorry but facts do not constitute opinions, by the Buddha's clear words on what a good ruler would do for their people, Trump (and many others) are not great leaders, you can call that an opinion if you want, time will tell that its is more than just an opinion. Or maybe the Buddha's instructions are just opinions to you?????
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by ihrjordan » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:27 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but facts do not constitute opinions, by the Buddha's clear words on what a good ruler would do for their people, Trump (and many others) are not great leaders, you can call that an opinion if you want, time will tell that its is more than just an opinion. Or maybe the Buddha's instructions are just opinions to you?????
So was Hilary the great ruler that America had been waiting for?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:48 pm

ihrjordan wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but facts do not constitute opinions, by the Buddha's clear words on what a good ruler would do for their people, Trump (and many others) are not great leaders, you can call that an opinion if you want, time will tell that its is more than just an opinion. Or maybe the Buddha's instructions are just opinions to you?????
So was Hilary the great ruler that America had been waiting for?
Dichotomous inference: because B is awful does not mean A is any better. The same amount of complaint, panic, and fear would be bandied about if Clinton had won.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

binocular
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:31 pm

retrofuturist wrote:What if the opposition to abortion were not on religious grounds per se, but based simply on the right to not be murdered by another? Can laws to achieve the goals of non-murder be legitimately enacted without recourse to religion?
Without (some kind of) religion, it seems impossible to conceive of the unborn as something to be murdered, not even to be killed; so without religion, the issue becomes moot to begin with.

Secondly, if there would really be such a thing as the right not to be murdered, nobody would ever be murdered. Seeing as this is not the case, and people do get murdered, not being murdered is a mere privilege, not a right.

- - -
mikenz66 wrote:I agree. The Buddha gave copious advice on daily life to people from rulers on down.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=259
And see this discussion of Dasa Raja Dharma: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 27#p275288, qualities of a great ruler:
Almsgiving, justice, penitence, meek spirit, temper mild,
Peace, mercy, patience, charity, with morals undefiled—
https://suttacentral.net/en/ja534/-1
Though this particular list is from the Jataka's, these qualities appear in many earlier suttas.
So who gets to decide what qualifies for "almsgiving, justice, penitence, meek spirit, temper mild, peace, mercy, patience, charity, undefiled morals"?
I don't think there exists anyone who has never given any alms, or who has never been just, etc.

IOW, for all practical intents and purposes, it comes down to a matter of degree: giving how much alms qualifies for enough giving alms; being just on how many occasions qualifies for enough justice; etc. etc.?

And thus we enter the domain of descriptive moral relativism.

santa100
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by santa100 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:19 pm

During the rainy retreats, there used to be a standard practice for a monk to periodically undergoes review and examination in front of his fellow monk sangha. He would stand in front of them and ask them to review and point out any problem or mistake he has been making so that he can correct those errors and improve his practice. I'm not a Vinaya expert but remember there's a Pali term for this procedure. I wonder if this tradition has been lost nowadays and that monks, especially those who are famous or holding high ranking position of abbot or temple president are exempted from having to do this anymore?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:35 pm

binocular wrote: So who gets to decide what qualifies for "almsgiving, justice, penitence, meek spirit, temper mild, peace, mercy, patience, charity, undefiled morals"?
I don't think there exists anyone who has never given any alms, or who has never been just, etc.

IOW, for all practical intents and purposes, it comes down to a matter of degree: giving how much alms qualifies for enough giving alms; being just on how many occasions qualifies for enough justice; etc. etc.?

And thus we enter the domain of descriptive moral relativism.
I think in the scripture passage in question it was implied that a righteous king would very frequently devote his life to the above actions, not just practice them once or twice. When Donald Trump released his tax returns we will see how charitable he has been.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

SarathW
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:04 pm

isn't this the recitation of the pātimokkha?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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